Three-toed sloths inhabit forests and spend practically their entire life in the trees, where they hang beneath the limbs or sit in a fork (Nowak,1999).
The species is almost exclusively arboreal, but also swims well. The sloth is capable of moving distances of several miles, travel that may require moving over ground and swimming across rivers (Gardner, 2007).
This species occurs in the Guyana Shield region, from Venezuela south of the Orinoco (although its distribution crosses at the delta region) into northern Brazil (south to the Amazonas/Solimões), through to Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. The species has also been found in eastern Colombia by the department of Caquetá (IUCN).